Now that the Democrats managed to get a massive $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill passed, they are looking to push another bill with a massive price tag through Congress.
Fox News reports that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has directed the House to start working on an infrastructure package.
According to Fox, Pelosi met on Thursday with the leaders of the various committees who will be responsible for putting together the infrastructure package. She also released a statement expressing her intention to pursue infrastructure.
“Congress must work swiftly to build on the historic Biden American Rescue Plan,” Pelosi said. “Our recovery plan must Build Back Better For The People in every zip code by creating good-paying jobs for the future. To that end, I have called upon the Chairs of the Committees of Jurisdiction to work with their Republican counterparts to craft a big, bold, and transformational infrastructure package.”
Pelosi went on to talk about some of what this plan might include.
She specifically listed “critical needs in energy and broadband, education and housing, water systems, and other priorities.”
A bipartisan bill?
President Joe Biden last summer introduced his own $2 trillion plan to rebuild infrastructure. And, last April, when Donald Trump was still president, he himself called for a “very big and bold” $2 trillion infrastructure plan.
What this suggests is that it could be one of those rare bills these days upon which congressional Republicans and Democrats can find some agreement.
Pelosi said in her statement that “building our transportation system has long been bipartisan,” and “it is our hope that spirit will prevail.”
At this point, it is unclear if such a bipartisan “spirit” will prevail. The fact of the matter is that the Democrats just rammed through a $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill that Republicans have condemned as wasteful, particularly as most of the money spent has nothing to do with coronavirus relief.
So, Republicans may not be eager to pass another multi-trillion plan, even though it is needed, unless there is a viable way to pay for it.
Pelosi has not explained how the infrastructure package would be paid for. She has said, simply, “We have to pay for some of it. We’ll have to find ways to cover fees, et cetera. That’s all a discussion that has to take place now.”